Willing to relocate: Seattle or Boulder
Technologies: Precision Measurement/Metrology, data analysis/data science, experimental design, vacuum, hardware, CNC/CAM, PCB layout, radioactive waste disposal and more.
I'm a Ph.D experimental physicist with fifteen years of experience in precision-measurement and data-analysis. I build things, make measurements, analyze data, and answer questions.
Looking to work with a professional manager/team on a problem that is timeless, peaceful, and impactful.
One of the challenges of an experimental physicist PhD is that you're a very good hack at nearly every engineering field, but not a product builder (largely because the apparatus you're building is n=1). You're not an EE but familiar with what they do and can "hack" their day job. You're not a ME but can hack solidworks to make a part and putz in the machine shop. You're not a programmer but can hack that too. You'd be great in any research environment, but those are hard to find. R&D departments usually skew heavily D, and not so much R.
I've found that systems engineering (the design and test type, not the network admin type) is a solid field for experimental physicists. But most systems engineers reside at bomb building companies. I've been fortunate to find a good fit at a life sciences company that builds products for research labs. Maybe you can too?
To the wider HN crowd, any other industry niches that you know of that fit the experimental physicist skill-set? Usually something that mixes both hardware and software is best. The typically advice I hear is become a programmer... but code without hardware is boring :) ducks
P.S. Charlie, the research work you've done is _really_ cool stuff.
It's always a tricky messaging problem, as the people who need a physicist have no idea that they exist. They think they need an engineer, or an analyst, or a problem-solver, but the idea that experimental physicists might fit the bill rarely comes up without a human-networking connection.
The other challenge is at my end, as I'm trying to remain a scientist at heart -- very few applications are limited by the fundamentals of nature. The trick is finding someone working on a problem that advances, in an absolute sense, human progress. Have a real shot at quantum computing? I'm in. Have a demonstrable shot at eradicating polio, improving desalinization, or helping people authenticate news-sources online? Sounds good, let's do it.
What I found useful was to figure out of this infinite possibility of things I could do, what do I find most interesting and given my ability and scope of opportunities what could I do and still make a decent living? Then I funnel down and teach myself up to the graduate level in that thing.